I enjoy drawing and painting with water media paints such as watercolor and Sumi-e INK on paper. I visualize a work that is inspired by looking at the world of my surroundings. I go through the steps to create a work in my mind before I actually paint. As I work I watch the media as it moves, blends and create washes. The INKS are created with Sumi-e brushes that are drawn with sticks and twigs that have a sharp edge or I make my own quills out of dried out corn stalks that I pick from corn fields in Bucks County PA. The INK work is spontaneous, effortless and happens quickly. They are made with a Zen approach to painting and drawing.
After reading Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigal I learned that an Archer with much training will be able to release his bow and arrow without consciously making that decision to release the bow. He will be able to release it at the moment of its highest tension and hit the mark every time...it becomes an effortless art for him.
With watercolor and Sumi-e INK, I strive to draw and paint effortlessly, making marks on my paper directly and inventive with an economy of line, shape and a strong composition. Similar to the way the Archer can directly hit the mark effortlessly. I would like my work to appear effortless and direct.
I know that watercolor paints were invented in China centuries ago and they were brought to the west by the explorers who used watercolors for map making. However, watercolor and Sumi-e INK art was already highly developed in the orient before it was adapted in the west.
I looked at many of the Sumi-e INK works and prints from China and Japan at the MET so long ago..and I guess it is coming back to me. Although I may not completely comprehend the culture that the original Zen artists came from because I have lived in the west all my life. I did spend much time in the gallery of Asian art at the MET as a young artist looking at the results of a Zen way to approach painting.
Remember also that the early modernists collected Japanese prints and adapted them to their work.
Process and materials are essential to my work. I engage with my medium as it moves across the surface, spontaneously blending, layering, and evolving. Color, value, light and shadow, transparency, line, and form are the emphasis.
When my work is going well, I feel an inner sense of peace and tranquility and a great sense of accomplishment. Painting to me is a kind of freedom of expression and a healthy celebration of life.
Bucks County Herald, "SFA Holiday Invitational is all about Inclusion,"
The Star Ledger, In the Towns section,
Sharon Sheridan, “Peaceful Art Balances an Eventful Life,”
Thursday, October 11, 2001.
Hunterdon Review, “Ken Lockwood Gorge Inspires High Bridge Artist,”
Jon Marcin, Wednesday, September 1, 2004